“There is nothing to stop employers from forging ahead with plans to create a mother and baby friendly environment”.
This is the view of Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations, Colin Jordan who spoke in support of breastfeeding in the workplace at the Breastfeeding and Child Nutrition Foundation (BCNF) meeting yesterday, at the Savannah Beach Hotel, Hastings, Christ Church.
He revealed that Government, over the years, has been providing enabling environments for which businesses and workers can meet the goals of the organisation in a healthy and wholesome environment.
The Minister stated: “Breastfeeding is considered one of the most effective ways to ensure good child health and survival, and the World Health Organization (WHO) advocates breastfeeding as having the single largest impact on child mortality of any preventative intervention… it provides the best nutrition and protects against life-threatening diseases.”
He further added that “evidence is showing that global efforts to promote breastfeeding in the workplace are starting to pay off, with more than 65 per cent of countries around the world now having legislation”.
During his address Minister Jordan also took the time to comment on childhood obesity in Barbados, noting that this non-communicable disease should be an area of importance to all of us as parents, caregivers, healthcare practitioners and as citizens.
Drawing from statistics to highlight the seriousness of childhood obesity, he said: “The Healthy Caribbean Coalition, shows that one in three children in the region is overweight or obese, while 31.5 per cent and 14.4 per cent of school-aged children in Barbados are overweight and obese respectively.”
He alluded to the fact that most overweight and obese children are more likely to remain obese into adulthood and more likely to develop chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular problems.
Minister Jordan stressed: “every effort must be taken to counteract overweight and or obesity through lifestyle changes”, to the benefit of our children who are the future of tomorrow.